One of the main reasons why the estate planning process is so important is ensuring that loved ones are cared for once a decedent is gone. Part of that care includes having a roof over one’s head. If, after the death of one on whom you relied for support, the issue of where in Los Angeles you will call home comes up, know you are not alone in such a struggle; many have come to us here at The Law Office of Matthew C Yu with the same concerns. Fortunately, state law has made it possible for you to retain your homestead even after your loved one’s death.
Per Section 6520 of California’s Probate Code, the court can select a property to serve as the probate homestead in your case. You are entitled to continued use of the homestead (regardless of your loved one’s will or financial situation when they died) if the decedent was your spouse (a decedent’s minor children are also entitled to the use of the probate homestead. The designation of a property as a probate homestead only lasts until your death (of you are the decedent’s spouse) or you reach the age of majority.
When there is an issue over which property should be designated as the probate homestead, the court first looks to select it from the decedent’s community or quasi-community property, then any property owned in common, and finally from their community property (depending on your relationship of those of others entitled to its use). Property over which a third party also retains a right of possession cannot be named as a probate homestead unless said party consents to it.
More information on sorting out the details of an estate can be found here on our site.